Thursday, August 18, 2005

A real, live movement

As I'm sure many of you have seen, Cindy Sheehan's mother has had a stroke. Cindy has left Camp Casey to go take care of her, leaving a message to her supporters:

I'm going to take care of my mother right now, but I hope to be back before the end of August. Meanwhile, keep the camp together, and keep your spirits high. I may have started this camp out, but I'm counting on you to continue the movement. The call to end the war must be made by everyone.

This, of course, is tragic, and the thoughts and prayers and wishes of thousands all over the country go out to Cindy's family tonight. Certainly mine do! Cindy has been a wonderful and compassionate mother and we can see that she is just as devoted a daughter.

But, in the midst of this, I can't help but think that this is an opportunity for this new movement that has started. Until now, right wingers and the mainstream media have gotten away with portraying this as "one woman's crusade." Of course, with this logic, if you attack the one woman, you attack the movement. Without Cindy standing up out front for us (and thank goodness she did! and started this movement!), the media and the pundits will finally be forced to confront the fact that this isn't just a lone grieving mother. She started it, and she deserves all possible credit for that. But she has thousands of people behind her.

You can no longer ignore or discredit this because it's "just a crazy lady." These are mothers, fathers, spouses, friends... these are the American people... who have decided that they've had enough and that they want answers and accountability. And that's going to be hard to smear, discredit, or ignore. But, trust me, they'll try.

Edited to add: I don't mean to suggest that Cindy Sheehan is no longer involved in the movement. Not at all!! What I meant was that it will be harder and harder to dismiss this movement as just a crazy leftist radical, a grieving mom being used by the left wing, or something that is simply "fake" (shout out to Rush Limbaugh!). With Camp Casey going strong, even without Cindy there, that sends a real message. And that message is harder to attack.

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